Turkey’s Burj Al Babas: the abandoned city of the Luxury Castles
The atmosphere seems that of a surreal tale, a Disney fairytale in the Horror version, but the Burj Al Babas project is so far from cinematic fiction, and it develops near Mudurnu, in northwestern Turkey, roughly midway between Istanbul and Ankara.
Of course, it’s more eerie than a Disney movie: all of these Gothic-style buildings lie empty, forming a surreal, abandoned ghost town.
Started in 2014 by the Sarot Property Group, the huge village with castle-style villas of Disneyland has remained at an advanced stage of completion, with no funds to continue its construction.
When the developers fell into recession-fueled financial difficulty in 2018, the hundreds of castle-style villas were abandoned, mid-construction.
Sarot’s investors have recently been blocked by a bankruptcy ruling ordered by the Turkish courts for a $ 27 million debt matured during the construction of the Burj Al Babas.
The investment involved the construction of 732 castle-style villas, pools, steam baths, health and beauty centers, a shopping center and a mosque. And even though customers from Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia bought around 350 of the 587 villas already built, the inflow of money did not prevent bankruptcy.
Sarot Group Chairman Mehmet Emin Yerdelen supports his company, asserting that $ 7.5 million of missed payments from the Gulf countries are missing. According to Yerdelen, the court ruling is wrong, and the group will appeal to Turkish justice.
The court also ordered the group to immediately stop all work, but Yerdelen remains confident. “The project has a value of 200 million dollars. We only need to sell 100 villas to pay off our debt. I believe we can overcome this crisis, and in four or five months proceed to the inauguration of the resort”.
The website of the resort, still active, does not add other details to what has been leaked from the newspapers, and the positive conclusion of the story is far from obvious….